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Montreuil-sur-Mer (Municipality, Pas-de-Calais, France)

Last modified: 2020-09-12 by ivan sache
Keywords: montreuil-sur-mer |
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Flag of Montreuil-sur-Mer - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2020

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Presentation of Montreuil-sur-Mer

The municipality of Montreuil-sur-Mer (2,014 inhabitants in 2017; 285 ha; municipal website) is nicknamed "Northern Carcassonne".

Montreuil-sur-Mer overlooks the valley of Canche from 40 meters, therefore its vocation as a fortress thanks to this privileged geographical position. Born from a small monastery, Montreuil became a major traffic route thanks to river Canche. Already fortified at the end of the 9th century and incorporated to the royal domain of France in 987, Montreuil was until 1204 the only seaport of the Capetian kings. To protect it, King Philip I August built a powerful royal castle at the beginning of the 13th century and increased the urban wall. Montreuil then exported cloth, the reputation of which rivaled those of Flanders and Artois.
At the end of the Middle Ages, the silting up of river Canche and the Hundred Years' War led to the decline of the town. In the 16th century, Montreuil became an essential pawn in the defense of the Kingdom of France against the lands of the Habsburgs. In June 1537, the troops of Charles V and Henry VII sacked the town. Francis I immediately ordered the construction of an urban enclosure that was completed 30 years later by a citadel built in the site of the medieval castle.

The urban design of Montreuil was renewed in the 28th century. The religious establishments and buildings were completely renovated and the upper town was adorned with around 40 mansions.
In the 19th century, the main traffic routes to Paris, Arras and Boulogne turned away from Montreuil; in 1878, the inauguration of the Arras-Étaples railway line enabled the town to get out of this landlocked situation. During World War I, Montreuil hosted the British HQ with the troops of Marshal Douglas Haig.

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2020

Flag of Montreuil-sur-Mer

The flag of Montreuil-sur-Mer (photo) is vertically divided yellow-blue with the municipal coat of arms in the center, "Or, two fesses azure a chief of the second charged with three fleur-de-lis of the first".

Olivier Touzeau, 25 May 2020